NEWARK, N.J., AUG. 27 -- At least four radio stations took Sinead O'Connor off the air today after the Irish singer offended listeners by banning "The Star-Spangled Banner" from her concert Friday night.

Anti-O'Connor backlash tied up radio switchboards in New York and New Jersey, but apparently didn't ripple beyond the region.

In a news release today, O'Connor said she hadn't meant to insult anyone, but objects to any national anthem being played at her concerts, "even my own."

The Garden State Arts Center, which always starts its shows by playing the anthem, gave in to the singer's demand, fearing that a last-minute cancellation would enrage the audience of 9,000, but prohibited any future appearances by the hit singer.

{The following night Frank Sinatra appeared at the New Jersey center and was reported by Reuter to have told the audience he wished he could meet her so he "could kick her ..."

{He was also reported to have advised her to leave the country because her actions were "unforgivable." He added, amid thunderous applause, "For her sake, we'd better never meet."}

During the peak morning drive time today, radio show hosts smashed O'Connor's records on the air.

Mike Opelka, producer of the morning show at WHTZ in Newark, said the station got about 1,200 unsolicited calls between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. By a margin of 30 to 1, callers wanted O'Connor off the air.

The ban will likely be short-lived, said program director Steve Kingston.

"It's a statement based on the feelings of our audience," Kingston said. "Tomorrow, when people forget about it, we'll probably go back to playing her record."

Meanwhile, Armed Forces Radio said soldiers and their families overseas would continue to hear O'Connor.

"Our position for music is, if it's a song that is popular and goes up the charts with various audiences in the U.S., that's where we play our music from," said spokesman Jim Kout. "We don't ban artists. The only time we wouldn't carry a song would be when a judge declared it obscene."

A New York state senator was less forgiving.

Nicholas Spano, a Westchester County Republican, urged fans to boycott O'Connor's performance Wednesday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

"He's pathetic," responded O'Connor's publicist, Elaine Schock.

"Politicians will jump on anything, won't they?" Schock said. "I'm surprised he believes in censorship because Americans believe so strongly in freedom of speech. He should be ashamed."